Electronics mounted

Arduino mounted in project box

Finally the electronics have been mounted in a project box which makes them much more portable and easy to use.  The LCD has been disconnected electrically from the relay for nearly 24 hours.  The relay may have taken enough power to cause enough voltage fluctuation to garble the LCD display which seems very sensitive to voltage fluctuations.  Of course this configuration will be much easier to work with, easier to move without worrying about wires and easier to keep clean and safe.  The Arduino is mounted so that the USB cable can be plugged in without removing the cover.  All seems to be working well, another milestone.  I think I will build a second one which I can use either as the thermostat or the boiler controller.  The project box part number 270-1809 was obtained at Radio Shack and the PC board inside was also obtained at Radio Shack.  The PC board is very easy to use with board that consists of many mini bus bars to make hook up and soldering easy, the part number is 276-168.Today’s goal is to deal with the smoking issues of the boiler.More update later.

First Burn as a boiler

| Author: | Filed under: Arduino, Homemade Boiler, Hopper and Feed | Tags: , , , | 1 Comment

Prototype burn mode

Limited success, the temperature in the tank did rise quickly and peaked at approx. 90°F before I shut the boiler feed off.  The water in the boiler started at 56°F.  The boiler smoked excessively and I think the top exhaust fan needs to be more robust.  At present the bottom draft feed fans are approx. 1/3 more cfm than the top fan.  To induce some negative pressure and reduce the smoking issues the top fan needs to increase.  The other issue is the auger feed.  The motor had a few issues with binding, The motor may have to be more powerful as well.  I will take apart the feed tomorrow and hopefully determine where it was binding up.  With luck there was a misaligned bearing or some other explanation.  Otherwise I am a little at a loss.  Over the weekend the piping got run with help.  I mounted the 3/4″ copper on Unistrut this  connected to the oil fired hot water boiler.   A nice neat job if I say so myself.  The 4″ .125 wall tube I used for an exhaust pipe seemed to work fine and stay cool in the 1/2 hour I ran the boiler.  I still had some issues with the LCD screen however I am now convinced that this problem will fix it self with a separate power supply for the relays.

I wrote a very simple program this morning for the boiler control.  No frills at all, and there were minor LCD issues.  I think the LCD is very susceptible to voltage fluctuations.  I will test this theory tomorrow as well.